YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A man from the Cleveland area could very well die behind bars after being sentenced for repeatedly raping a young girl in Boardman. The victim confronted her attacker in court Monday.
As Jeffrey Palmer sat quietly, his young victim — who’s now 13 — told Judge Maureen Sweeney Palmer’s crimes changed her life forever.
“It hurt, kind of, because I had no one else to talk to about it because I kept keeping it inside,” she said.
Palmer, who’s from the Cleveland area, was convicted last week on 12 counts of rape.
Prosecutors say the assaults took place over the course of several months in 2015 and 2016 at a home in Boardman where Palmer was staying.
The victim was just 10 years old at the time.
She told the judge the assaults still leave her thinking others are judging her because of what happened.
“I feel insecure about stuff I’d wear. I don’t wear a lot of clothes I used to. I rarely show my legs.”
While Palmer continued to insist he was falsely accused and unfairly convicted, prosecutors argued the crimes deserved a long prison term before he could ever seek parole.
“This is a defendant who clearly poses a danger to the public and consecutive sentencing is necessary,” said Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Jennifer McLaughlin.
The judge agreed, sentencing the 34-year-old to life behind bars.